National Geographic makes Augmented Reality go live…

The opportunities to attract peoples’ attention are increasing with the use of Augmented reality. Appshaker recently launched a fantastic way for people to interact with the world of National Geographic Channel’s content from around the globe. The set-up obviously took some budget. With the use of augmented reality, people could virtually interact with different scenes in which they were able to get in touch with dolphins, leopards, the space landings, dinosaurs and more.

The result..
1000s of people interacted with the National Geographic Channel brand in the process as it toured Hungary, with 1000s more people sharing snapshots and video on Facebook as a result.

Live Augmented Reality for National Geographic Channel / UPC from Appshaker Ltd on Vimeo.

Study: Text and image-based posts are best performers for Facebook mobile pages

With over 350 million active mobile users across 475 wireless operators worldwide on Facebook’s mobile sites, marketers wonder which tactics they should be using to generate higher engagement levels. But also Facebook’s new iPad app and their mobile site shows that also Facebook knows about the value mobile offers to their business.

A new study by Vitrue shows how people are using Facebook on their mobile devices. It also explains how they are interacting with brand. The study finds that text and image-based posts on Facebook brand pages in mobile generate the highest engagement levels (21.5% and 20.4% of “Likes”).

Video, applications and Flash animation are following the leading types of posts in performance. The traditional site tend to generate higher interaction rates for video, apps and Flash. The reason might be the larger screen and better bandwidth.

The study concludes that shorter posts are better for mobile Facebook pages. Short posts of not more than 70 characters received more Likes and comments than longer ones. Likes increased 4.3% on shorter posts, and comments even jumped up to 31%.

Commenting and liking on Facebook seems to be growing these days. In general, mobile Likes as a proportion of all Facebook Likes increased from 18% to 24% during the three-month period while mobile comments rose from 9% to 20% of all comments.

Thursday through Sunday were best times for Facebook marketers in mobile. The later part of the week and the weekend were the best times for brands to increase Likes on mobile Facebook pages. Thursday and Saturday peaked on „Likes“ and Tuesday reached a low. Friday achieved highest rate of comments.

Liking in hourly mobile spikes between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. EST was the best time, and then the afternoon hours. Comments were quite similar with peak activity at three specific times: 1 a.m., 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., and 9 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Spot on!
Mobile keeps us up to date on and with Social Media. And the buzz effect seems to be working on mobile alongside the growth of your audience. Vitrue separated brand pages in two groups: Those with more than 100,000 fans and those with more than 1 million fans. The group with 1 million fans was driving higher engagement rates. Large fan pages saw a higher percentage of comments from mobile than less popular ones (4.51% vs. 3.23%).

From online to offline with a smile…

We love living digital. We love being online. We love taking our mobiles with us. Anywhere, anytime, any place. However, sometimes people might make fools of us, out of our new digital reality.

In the summer the English National Opera picked up the social networking habits of Twitter and Facebook and created a great commercial that promoted their latest act, transfering our online attitudes to offline. As we all tend to pretend to be friends these days, we sometimes might loose our focus and just make our world seem to be “friendly” and “social”.

And friendly does not mean to make shopping online be easy. Many customer where I have been speaking and doing some consulting business, forget to find out and regularly double-check where their customers are “checking out”. A trend that with Google Analytics picked up with a lovely commercial that illustrates how difficult online shopping might be in the real world. Just think about the annoying digital experiences you have had in the last years, and then transfer them into our offline world. That’s what Google has done.

And it was only a loaf of bread he wanted to buy. It made me smile… And you?

Productivity squared? Future productivity vision 2011 (video)

Many of us web techies have seen the 2009 version of Microsoft’s productivity vision. In their video, Microsoft offered an outlook on how technology could “transform the way we get things done at school, at work, and in the home over the next 5 to 10 years”. Some things have become real in their vision…

Many companies fear that productivity might get lost with the advent of Millenials working in companies in the future. And one things is for sure, screens will change our productivity and our daily working habits in the future.

Also, in their latest version 2011 we can find visions that seem to be not too far away from us, not even visions any more. The video gives still some interesting aspects to think about on how future technology could make our time more efficient to focus our attention on productivity. Now, whether this really strenghtens our relationships when we do different things at the same time, needs to be seen.

Watch it and tell us if this is how you would like to see your productivity squared, and if this is to become real in your future…?!

1 in 3 of 18-34s will do mobile shopping this christmas

Harald Wanetschka/pixelio.de

Are you going shopping in stores to find some christmas presents? Or will you be doing your shopping tour via mobile? Well, if you use your mobile you are not alone…

According to a UK survey by marketing community site UTalkMarketing and online survey platform Toluna. 32% of 18-34-year-olds will use their mobile to buy Christmas presents this year.

However, this might sound as if only the young generation is shopping via their mobiles, the study makes clear that also older age groups are purchasing mobile with an increasing amount: 14% of 35-54 year-olds and 9% of over 55s year-olds also plan to get their presents for Christmas by using their mobile.

“The fact that a third of young adults are planning to buy their Christmas gifts via their mobile device is proof that the year of mobile-commerce is finally upon us. The fact that most mobile shoppers will do so directly via a retailer’s app is also strong proof that brands wishing to contend in the mobile-commerce arena must do more than simply provide a mobile optimised website,” says Melanie McKinney, Publisher, UTalkMarketing.

The survey questioned 1,300 UK consumers and found that iPhone users are the most likely to make a Christmas purchase via their device. 42% said they will make a Christmas purchase via their iPhone devices. 31% of those that say they will make a Christmas purchase via their mobile will use a BlackBerry and 27% will do so via an Android phone.

However, the advent of HTML 5 is near, apps are the retail channels of choice for the survey’s respondents. 88% of mobile shoppers will only make a purchase this Christmas if their retailer of choice has a transactional app. Only 12% of mobile shoppers will make a purchase directly from a retailer’s mobile-optimised website.

“The results of this survey are a clear indication that retailers cannot ignore the mobile-commerce wave. They need to adapt to and embrace the changing ways consumers now shop,” states McKinney.

Spot On!
Poor shops on the streets… The study is a good proof that mobile commerce is on it’s way towards mainstream. Also, the tablet movement, especially with the increasing use of iPads these days, will change consumer habits to go shopping in the future. Another YouGov survey released earlier this week suggests that 84% of consumers will buy at least one gift online this year with a third saying they will buy all of their gifts online. However, marketers have to be clear about the fact that more than a quarter of consumers (26%) are concerned about privacy issues when it comes to shopping via mobile according to the uTalkMarketing survey.

Prime Time in TV and Mobile Apps is similar

The prime time for TV broadcasters is 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., for radio it is all about commute time, and for the web it is completely different. While news sites have their peak in the morning and midday, the internet at 7 pm. Social Media sites have their main usage time in the evening like TV. And how about mobile web usage? Is it following TV’s prime time?

A study by Flurry shows the audience for iPhone and iOS apps increases during the day and finds it’s peak at about 9 p.m. “Mobile consumers are using apps either instead of, or along-side prime-time television and the Internet,” tells us a Flurry blog post on the study. Well, it is a US usage study but I can imagine that many people in the rest of the world also change their habits and use mobile devices while watching TV. The two-screen viewing seems to become common standard.

Nevertheless, the relative size of the TV audience during prime time was larger than that for mobile apps with over 60%. And when app usage remained higher than TV from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and higher than the Internet, it suggests that people spend quite some time accessing the Web during their working hours. Still, mobile apps already reach over 20 million U.S. consumers per hour in the time between 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The numbers come as no surprise, seeing that Flurry estimates the combined number of active iOS and Android devices in the U.S. at 110 million. If produced properly and promoted correct, apps could act like TV shows in the future. Although it will be difficult to target apps through app stores by age, gender, dayparts like TV, the future could look different and these targeting opportunities might evolve over time.

Spot On!
The question is what the future of app usage will look like (think about HTML 5 and some other reasons) and how this will affect the advertising industry. At the moment, many companies focus their main interest on apps but mainly to push their brands, and not often to create something extraordinary that really competes with TV. Although, there s a massive opportunity to reach mobile consumers overtime, everywhere, companies are not very innovative in establishing TV like series that could affect the TV world – neither in Social Media, nor in Mobile. If this remains as it is, TV will not have to fear the Prime Time power of mobile.

Web or App? Nielsen study knows usage time of Android smartphone users

According to the latest findings of research firm Nielsen that tracks and analyses iOS and Android data, smartphone users spend twice as much time on applications than on mobile version of these websites. The study reveals also that –although there are millions of apps in the world- only “a very small proportion of apps make up the vast majority of time spent”.

The average Android smartphone user spends 56 minutes a day using apps and browsing the internet. Two-thirds of that time is usage of apps, the rest goes to mobile websites and 39% acccount for consumer app consumption. The study illustration below shows that mobile device owners spent almost half of their usage time on their top 10 favorite apps and 51% on their favorite 20 apps.

Let’s give it a guess… Probably most of the app usage of mobile device owners accounts for the following usage time: Checking email apps, Facebook, Foursquare or Gowalla, Twitter, and some of their favorite and coolest news or geeky gaming apps (very often used by their kids). And if you look at the top (free) list of apps you find Angry Birds, Angry Birds Rio, Google Maps, YouTube, Facebook Mobile, Skype, Tiny Flashlight, Viber and Drag Racing amoungst others.

The study supports my own feeling that although we continue to download apps and spend (2010 per user: Android 1,97 USD, iPhone 21,22 USD), we only use most of them them periodically, and only a few continously if the give us permanent benefit in networking or staying up-to-date on news.

Well, the time will come when HTML5 might change the market situation and developers will have an easy time working with apps. Amazon’s Kindle Cloud Reader gives insights in what is possible with HTML5 for the mobile web.

Spot On!
The study does not really give an answer to the question yet, or can give a recommendation to management. Still, Seeing these numbers, just imagine the chances companies and brands have when launching a new app to get under the hiflyer apps in the smartphone user market. Ideally, think about the five strategic reason that could make your app successful and be aware of the fact that most brand apps fail.

QR Codes: A trend already gone, or still on the rise…?

In the last weeks, I have spoken with many clients and interesting people in the industry, whether QR codes are still an emerging topic for marketers, or if the trend goes thanks to the latest innovation from Layar. The new Layar technology let’s the importance of QR codes in some way vanish…

So, the question is: Are the QR codes an over rated technology? Let’s bear in mind how many people know how to use QR code technology, and how often those who know really use the QR code reader? Now, the team from Lab42 comes up with as great infographic on the use of QR codes.

And guess what, 60% of the respondents say they are not familiar with QR codes in general. Most of the people using QR codes (46%) scan them for discounts. interestingly enough, for 42% of the people these codes serve as a ticket (for a concert (62%). And 67% see the QR codes in print magazines. So, my assumption that QR code technology could become the access point for the extension of print (Augmented Reality) seems to proof correct.

Check out the rest of the data yourself…

I am interested to get your view on the future of QR codes. Is this a remaining access hub for companies, brands and services, or will it end when Augmented Reality evolving, and finally detecting 3D objectives…? Let us know your thoughts…

The Social Travel Revoluton (Infographic)

There is not one industry today that is not effected by the way we interact through Social Media. The Swedish start-up Tripl illustrates with a fantastic infographic how much the travel industry is influenced and effected via modern online conversations and check-ins. The necessity for hotels, airlines and restaurants to engage and understand Social Media is obvious: 50 Mio. reviews have been created on tripadvisor only 495.000 rated hotels!

Some key facts…
– On a daily basis, 72% of social network users access their social network sites while travelling
– The top 5 airlines have 2,566,000 fans on Facebook
– 200 Mio. passengers will board GOGO-WiFi flights in 2011
– Traffic growth of travel companies from social networks? Facebook 69% and Twitter 46%!

…and that is only 7% using mobile internet while tarvelling internationally!

Speech-recognition apps – a step into the mobile future?

In an interview for Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg West,” Gary Morgenthaler, a general partner at Morgenthaler Partners, speaks with Emily Chang about Apple Inc.’s potential strategy for speech-recognition applications. With the company’s purchase of Siri Inc. in 2010, Apple gained technology leadership that lets users search the Web by talking to their phones.

Sometimes I am asking myself if we are getting sucked into the opportunities of mobile (and Apple…) technology, or if people will move away from such “extreme” usage of technological progress. Or will it happen as it is Apple, or shall we better say Steve Jobs, who is in the driver’s seat saying: “It just works.”

Would be interesting to see how you, the social and mobile advanced users, if Apple is just catching up on an old trend or evolving the technology to make it market-ready…finally for the normal consumer…?!